Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What's in a Status Update?

"What does it all mean, Basil?"

What's funnier than a list of the best Facebook updates? Well, a whole lot of other things, actually. However, humor me as I go with an answer that will suit this blog topic. What's funnier than a list of the best Facebook updates? Witnessing and/or imagining their misinterpretation.

Example status update: "I'm tired." Could be interpreted to the moon, right? Tired of what? OMG, tired of me? Quitting their job? Dumping their boyfriend? Could mean just in sleepy...right?

This may seem like an over dramatized example, but definitely proves that misinterpretation could befall any status update.

Now, as far as my status update, it most often says straightforwardly what it intends to say. My husband, God love him, has asked on more than one occasion for me to clarify that my current Facebook status update didn't mean he screwed something up. The answer is always a resounding no...but see? It happens. Misinterpretation.

So, as I slowly get to my point...what's worse than an individual abusing the status update?

Businesses abusing the status update. Or owners that try to fuse their business profile with their personal one. Here's some PG examples...

"Great night out at the club!"

"Baking apple pie!"

"So laying out today! Sunny and 80!"

Is any of that appealing to your customer base?

Do what you all will do, but just keep in mind who is seeing your messages when you post them. I don't think your manager cares to know the real reason you were late yesterday more than you care to know what the car dealership owner down the road did last weekend. The esteemed blogging community that you have worked so hard to network with does not want to be involved in your Farmville campaign. Seriously, I know it'll take a little modesty and forethought...but we're all capable...well, maybe not all...

Social media does make it hard to separate your personal life from your business goals. Everyone is easy to find, and it's easy to share what's happening. To be successful, you have to realize on a personal and a business level that you can be found by what you are talking about. Oh, yea, my friends and has gone futuristic, and it's WAY COOL. However, it won't be cool when someone stumbles upon your inappropriate discussion as they search for the best credit union in the area. Talk about a snap judgement...try a click judgement. If you thought word of mouth traveled fast, try word by text messaging, comments, and retweets. Yikers!

It CAN work, having just one landing spot for personal and business use, but it takes some honest soul searching. If you have a completely different personality outside of your professional life, than it's obviously...or maybe not so obvious for some...a bad idea to fuse the two. It may be that your personal and professional life bleed together because of the time spent there, but keep in mind that to much information is a turn off your your customers and patrons that do business with you. Even though you can be found both places, customers and friends a like will appreciate the effort to separate the two.

Once again, I'm advising that you have a plan. Build a process. Execute it faithfully. be consistent. Even on a personal level. You don't want your Kindergarten teacher, who you thought would be cute to friend request, to know who you did or where you didn't make it to last night. Have some quoth... and be conscious of what is offensive to the general population. As a business, separate it just a little bit from your personal outlet of social media. The occasional cross-over is acceptable, but your friends don't want to be blasted by your occupation any more than your occupational circle wants to be blasted by your personal detailed weekend updates and photographs.

Businesses and professionals, severely reduce your chances of embarrassing yourself out there, and build a successful process for social media.

1 comment:

reep said...

Thank you Megan for pointing this (what should be obvious)point out!FYI people- if you post your mobile upload of LeBrone making the winning shot at the Cavs game the night before at midnight, and then your performance at work is less than stellar the next day, people will form an opinion,and will not take pity on you!